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European policies in the transport sector focus on promoting low-carbon fuels or electric cars. But these efforts are counteracted by the ever-growing popularity of heavier cars with more powerful motors. This trend is offsetting all fuel-efficiency improvements and the effect of an increased share of electric vehicles.
William Gillett, EASAC Energy Programme Director
In 2020 sales of fuel-hungry SUVs grew to a whopping 42% of the global car market. Even equipping these with electric powertrains would not solve the problem: The production of bigger cars has a much heavier impact on resources and they require significantly more battery power. We have to go for a much broader set of regulations and incentives.
William Gillett, EASAC Energy Programme Director
There are unprecedented opportunities to capitalise on scientific advances worldwide to develop the solutions, adapted to local contexts, for all regions. Not least the recent heavy rainfalls and floodings in Sicily give us a taste of what otherwise could be ahead of us
Prof. Sir Andy Haines, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
For electricity production, we are working on new hydro, wind and PV based power plants
Ajla Merzić, Lead Expert Associate for Power Unit Development in EPBiH
Old lignite units will be shut down, latest by end of 2023
Ajla Merzić, Lead Expert Associate for Power Unit Development in EPBiH
For electricity production, we are working on new hydro, wind and PV based power plants
Ajla Merzić, Lead Expert Associate for Power Unit Development in EPBiH
Old lignite units will be shut down, latest by end of 2023
Ajla Merzić, Lead Expert Associate for Power Unit Development in EPBiH
This summer’s rollercoaster of extreme temperatures, dryness, flash floods and wildfires has been bad, but probably far better than what we may see in the future.
Prof. Michael Norton, EASAC Environment Director
These challenges do have solutions but so far both the Climate Change and the Biodiversity Conventions separately have lacked the political will to implement them, or policy-makers have taken easy ways out without properly considering the consequences.
Prof. Michael Norton, EASAC Environment Director
The GDP-based economic system in which fossil fuel, food and agricultural interests are driving up CO2-levels, deforestation, land clearing and over-fishing is no longer fit for purpose if atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases must be cut in as short a period as possible.
Prof. Michael Norton, EASAC Environment Director
As parents and grand-parents we are as terrified as everyone else by what we see coming. But as scientists we know that there are ways to mitigate the worst and adapt. But only if governments in Europe and worldwide take responsibility and show leadership now
Lars Walloe, Chair EASAC Environment Programme
Hydrogen and green gases play a central role in the energy transition. Without them, the decarbonisation of the industry, transport and buildings sectors is simply inconceivable.
Inga Posch, Managing Director FNB Gas
The enormous number of projects clearly shows that we have to provide a hydrogen infrastructure at an early stage. This is the only way we can make the energy system fit for the future and achieve Germany's ambitious climate protection goals.
Dr. Thomas Gößmann, FNB Gas Chairman
Future ocean shifts are very sensitive to our success or failure in stopping warming. If we succeed in keeping the average warming to 1.5°C, then Antarctica may continue melting at current rates; but overshooting the 2 °C Paris Agreement target towards 3°C may lead to Antarctic melt alone add 0.5 cm a year by 2100.
Prof. Tor Eldevik, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research
The loss of mass in the Antarctic is sufficient to affect the gravitational pull on the earth’s oceans so that they move away.  This means that as the Antarctic melts, oceans shift to the north and sea level rises even faster around Europe.
Prof. Michael Norton, EASAC Environment Programme Director
Future ocean shifts are very sensitive to our success or failure in stopping warming. If we succeed in keeping the average warming to 1.5°C, then Antarctica may continue melting at current rates; but overshooting the 2 °C Paris Agreement target towards 3°C may lead to Antarctic melt alone add 0.5 cm a year by 2100.
Prof. Tor Eldevik, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research
The loss of mass in the Antarctic is sufficient to affect the gravitational pull on the earth’s oceans so that they move away.  This means that as the Antarctic melts, oceans shift to the north and sea level rises even faster around Europe.
Prof. Michael Norton, EASAC Environment Programme Director
We must urgently broaden the scope of building regulations and look at emissions embodied in construction materials and methods – both for new buildings and building renovation
William Gillett, Energy Programme Director
Many building materials can be reused, recycled and recovered. To start with, buildings and their components should be designed to be easily disassembled at the end of their use.
Prof. Brian Norton, Co-Chair of EASAC’s Working Group
In 2013, we still produced most of our district heat with natural gas imported from Russia, Since then, our energy transition from gas to renewable energy sources has set a world record both in speed and dimension.
Dr. Sigitas Rimkevičius, Director of Lithuanian Energy Institute
We can see new challenges looming, as biomass is increasingly under scrutiny for its actual climate impact. And while the biomass used in our networks is a sustainably sourced by-product of the lumber industry, global competition creates more and more pressure, making it an increasingly scarce resource. We are already exploring solutions beyond biomass.
Dr. Valdas Lukoševičius, President of the Lithuanian District Heating Asscoiation
We need all support we can get for the transformation. Our government in Vilnius is ready, but the EU needs to give green light. Then, the Lithuanian energy transformation record challenge can continue.
Dr. Valdas Lukoševičius, President of the Lithuanian District Heating Asscoiation
We cannot rely on linear developments and a steady energy transition over the next 30 years to 2050. Scientific evidence shows we have less than 15 years left to avoid a grim future.
William Gillet, EASAC Energy Programme Director
The JRC shows how the billions in public subsidy for biomass conversions are worsening carbon emissions for many decades. We must pay more attention to the science and ensure public subsidies focus on low carbon energy technologies that actually mitigate climate change
Prof. Michael Norton, EASAC Environment Director
The JRC report allows us to assess different sources of biomass from a climate perspective. Unfortunately, this confirms our worst fears that most of the current biomass in coal conversions is in the worst categories. As EASAC has repeatedly pointed out, accounting rules and public subsidies have led to an industry that is reducing even further our chances of meeting Paris Agreement targets
Christina Moberg, EASAC President
We are aware that our conclusions challenge political leaders and global elites who have campaigned for the traditional economy, expecting science and technology to allow economic growth to be indefinitely sustained.
Prof. Louise Vet, Netherlands Institute of Ecology
There is much talk of redirecting our values and reward systems towards a more sustainable economy whereby we can live well within our planet for more than just a few more years. But the inertia of the ‘brown economy’ cannot be underestimated.
Prof. Michael Norton
The problem is the short-term nature of our political and economic system. I call it the tyranny of the now. So-called wealth is detached from the real wealth of our environment and our well-being. We have even delegated stock market speculation to algorithms and regard that as wealth - even though it has no real value.
Anders Wijkman, Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Scientific knowledge of climate change and its drivers has been growing exponentially during the past decades, yet the degradation of nature and continued growth in greenhouse gas emissions has yet to even cease let alone start reversing. We have to ask if just trying to adjust ‘business as usual’ can safeguard our future on this planet.
Prof. Michael Norton, EASAC Environment Programme Director
Decision-makers seem to listen more to vested interests than to science. The science message has been consistent since the 1970s on the finite nature of the planet but been ignored. Incremental emissions reductions - achieved so far - are far from what is needed.
Anders Wijkman, Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
The problem is the short-term nature of our political and economic system. I call it the tyranny of the now. So-called wealth is detached from the real wealth of our environment and our well-being. We have even delegated stock market speculation to algorithms and regard that as wealth - even though it has no real value.
Anders Wijkman, Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Generation Greta gets it. Our focus should be on well-being and welfare, but our economic system puts all focus on growth and GDP which adds fuel to the climate and biodiversity crises.
Anders Wijkman, Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
We are aware that our conclusions challenge political leaders and global elites who have campaigned for the traditional economy, expecting science and technology to allow economic growth to be indefinitely sustained.
Prof. Louise Vet, Netherlands Institute of Ecology
Hydrogen can help reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. But the climate benefits will be limited, if we use fossil fuels to produce it - even with carbon capture and storage.
William Gillett, Energy Programme Director, EASAC
The EU must stop all subsidies to fossil fuels. The fast growing demand for hydrogen must be met by a massive increase of renewable electricity, together with certified imports from third countries.
William Gillett, Energy Programme Director, EASAC
Even in combination with carbon capture and storage, fossil-fuel based hydrogen still has a significant carbon footprint
William Gillett, Energy Programm Director, EASAC
Hydrogen can help reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. But the climate benefits will be limited, if we use fossil fuels to produce it - even with carbon capture and storage.
William Gillett, Energy Programme Director, EASAC
The EU must stop all subsidies to fossil fuels. The fast growing demand for hydrogen must be met by a massive increase of renewable electricity, together with certified imports from third countries.
William Gillett, Energy Programme Director, EASAC
Even in combination with carbon capture and storage, fossil-fuel based hydrogen still has a significant carbon footprint
William Gillett, Energy Programm Director, EASAC
Labelling forest biomass as renewable has a perverse impact on the climate. Much of the biomass employed in Europe is anything but carbon neutral. Current accounting rules under the emission trading scheme let certain power plants and countries shine as climate pioneers although they actually damage the climate
Prof. Michael Norton
I’d expect this to have an impact on how we look on countries like Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, the UK, and others who use a lot of biomass. This places challenges for such countries to reach their renewable energy targets with less climate-damaging biomass. But much more would be achieved in tackling climate change if the huge subsidies currently given to biomass could be diverted to technologies that really helped the climate,
Prof. Michael Norton
Governments need to take action beyond economic recovery packages.  They also need to create the rules and the environment to switch to an efficient and renewables-based energy system. Globally. Now.
Arthouros Zervos, President of REN21
If we do not change the entire energy system, we are deluding ourselves.
Rana Adib, Executive Director of REN21
Year after year, we report success after success in the renewable power sector. Indeed, renewable power has made fantastic progress. It beats all other fuels in growth and competitiveness.
Rana Adib, Executive Director of REN21
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